2023 presidential race: Jonathan is constitutionally encumbered; he cannot run- Adamson Adeboro


An Abuja-based Lawyer, Mr Adamson Adeboro may have poured cold water on the Goodluck Jonathan-for-president campaign with his magisterial declaration that the Nigerian constitution has disqualified him from contesting.

Adeboro told THE CONCLAVE that the ongoing effort and advocacy to draft the former president into the race amounted to a futile exercise in the face of the law.

He said that Section 137(3) had caught up with the former president even if he got all the waivers under the sun by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to him: “Former President should not bother himself with seeking to contest the 2023 presidential election. He should recuse himself from the process and advise those urging him on to hold their peace.

“He is expressly disqualified by the Constitution and therefore no amount of political frenzy can obviate that legal fact.”

He hinged his intervention on the express provision of Section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution provides: “A person who was sworn – in as President to complete the term for which another person was elected as President shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”

Adamson said that: “Dr Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in to complete the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s term and thereafter he was elected on a single term. That completes the circle.”

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on June 4, 2018, signed a constitutional amendment that stops a Vice-president who completes the term of a President from contesting for the office of the President more than one more time.

The law also stops a deputy governor who completes the term of a governor from seeking a second term in office as a governor.

A President’s term can be terminated by reasons of death, resignation, or death to pave the way for the Vice President to complete the term of the departed President.

Consequent upon the death of then-President Umaru Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, Jonathan as the then Vice- president, took a new oath of office to complete Yar’Adua’s term as President.

He was also sworn in for another term on May 29, 2011, after he won the presidential poll of that year.

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